My job: how to avoid mistakes in the new workplace

my job

When new employees start working in a new job, they must fit into the organizational culture and the new team. Although plenty of jobs are being offered in Croatia, the goal of every worker is to recognize the new job as his job, that is, “My job“. The goal of every company should be for their employees to identify with it, its community, and their plans.


New employees can represent a great gain for the work organization and that is why they must integrate as well as possible into the new environment. They can contribute new knowledge, and innovation in business, bring new clients, and encourage positive changes in the workplace. However, not all employees do equally well in all work environments.


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How to behave in the workplace?

To begin with, it is important to pay attention to small things. Being late to a new workplace should be avoided, and it is better to arrive early at least in the beginning, until the employees determine how long it takes them to get to the workplace.


You should pay attention to things like dress style. Although there are companies that allow freedom when it comes to the way employees dress, this does not mean that new employees can dress completely freely. It is best to dress professionally or semi-professionally.


When communicating in the workplace, it is important to treat others with due respect. Words like “sorry” and “please” should become part of addressing other employees and superiors. Cursing, vulgar expressions, and arguments should be avoided.


However, it often happens that new employees do not communicate with others and remain silent until someone asks them. This is often the result of anxiety or personality traits such as aloofness. No one can do a job if they don’t communicate with others because they will miss out on key information. In addition, employers are quick to spot employees who just keep quiet. There’s a reason why communication skills are highlighted in almost every ad.


New employees are also advised not to gossip about other colleagues or their acquaintances or start conversations about sensitive topics such as politics or social issues. It is easy to be resented by others and make yourself seem like a problematic person.


Expectations, identification with work, and a large labor market

It often turns out that new employees, especially younger ones, have different expectations and different motivations than the rest of the employees. Newer generations grow up with higher expectations about achieving their own life goals and are more willing to look for a job longer, quit their jobs, or move to other countries to achieve them.


The situation in the labor market is also in their favor. There are many available vacancies and labor must be imported to meet all needs. At the same time, demand is growing in neighboring countries, so a job abroad is no longer as unattainable as it used to be.


Large cities and regional centers such as Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, or Slavonski Brod are looking for more and more workers, while young people no longer think only at the local level and are attracted to Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and other countries.


It is not only the economic situation or the behavior of employers that are responsible for the dissatisfaction of new employees but also their thoughts and behaviors. Many of their qualities often turn out to be incompatible with the business world. A large supply of vacancies only directs them to focus on looking for a new job instead of perhaps adjusting their thoughts and behavior.


The fact that they quickly identify with the new workplace plays a significant role. They begin to understand the new life responsibility not only as a job but as their or “my job“. In such a way of thinking, “my job” is an essential part of “my life” and “my dignity”, which entails certain expectations.


Dissatisfied with the respect or behavior of others, they become frustrated, which leads to further dissatisfaction and possible conflicts at the workplace, and increasingly to looking for a new job. The problem is that they may encounter the same problems at the next job, so this way of thinking only leads to a vicious circle of dissatisfaction.


It is not surprising that many young employees find the Croatian labor market unfavorable and foreign labor markets such as Ireland, Germany, or Sweden become attractive to them.


In the following text, we consider the biggest problems in the new workplace that lead to the dissatisfaction of new employees.

My business is not ready for big changes

Most new employees often notice unsolved problems at their new workplace. To stand out or simply to make the workplace better for themselves and other employees, they try to solve them.


Solving problems can vary from reorganizing things in the office kitchen to hiring new people in administration to reduce pressure on existing employees.


However, new employees often encounter misunderstandings from existing employees who have already lost the will for change and are satisfied with the status quo. Making decisions about changing organizational culture is not easy and organizations have a great inertia not to change.


Existing employees are therefore taught that significant change is impossible and may be averse to the positive energy of younger employees. In their understanding, new hires don’t understand that things are the way they work and consider insisting on change rude and maladaptive.


The best recommendation for new employees is not to be too enthusiastic about proposing changes so as not to disappoint themselves and create resentment among existing employees.


My job criticizes me too much

New employees, especially younger ones, are often very sensitive when older colleagues point out mistakes in their work. The reason for this is that criticism is taken too personally as an attack on one’s competence.


Often the result of constructive criticism is a loss of self-confidence. Namely, employees often compare themselves with others. Older employees are more experienced than them, so their criticism is a clear sign of personal failure.


Reactions to criticism can be varied. New employees can withdraw into themselves or become very dissatisfied. A very common mistake is to try to avoid activities and colleagues that can lead to criticism. This leads to a drop in work performance, which leads to new criticism. In other words, a vicious circle is created in which new employees suffer the most.


My work does not recognize my efforts and achievements

New employees want to present themselves as hardworking, diligent, and capable in their new workplace. Because of this, they expect that their new workplace will provide them with recognition and status.


However, before they are ready to recognize new employees, organizations expect them to prove themselves in something. Since new hires tend to consider just being hired a great success, they become disillusioned and demotivated because they feel they are not valued by the organization.


As a result, the work organization may conclude that an unmotivated new employee has been wrongly hired. New employees should not expect their work and efforts to be recognized quickly and should get used to a long probationary period.


Fear of asking for help

For the previously mentioned reasons, new employees are often hesitant to ask questions of older colleagues. They do not want to appear incompetent in front of others and want to create an image of themselves as an independent and creative worker.


This is perhaps the worst mistake because employers are suspicious of new employees who have no questions. They too had to learn their job from others. Moreover, older employees will be happy to answer questions because by giving instructions they confirm their competence and usefulness.


New employees should therefore use existing expertise in the company and ask questions. The combination of the new approach of young people and the experience of the elderly is the best combination for successful work.


My job is stressful

Unfortunately, as important as it is to deal with stress healthily, most employers look down on workers who complain about stress. New employees who complain about stress can create a very negative self-image. Others may judge them as sensitive and incompetent. Their careers may suffer as they may be excluded from promotion opportunities or even fired for failing to meet the demands of the job.


That is why, during the selection process, employers try to find out if the candidates cope well with stress. Propensity to stress is considered a weakness, although today stress in the workplace is increasing not because of individual factors but because of things that employees cannot influence. These are, for example, an increase in the complexity of work tasks, increased competition, and job insecurity.


However, the causes of stress can also be things like time pressure, disorganization at the workplace, and unsatisfactory interpersonal relationships. In such cases, younger employees will usually check job offers and look for a better position.


A certain amount of stress due to the aforementioned reasons can be expected in every workplace and employees should learn to deal with stress themselves. One should learn to invest in relationships with colleagues, organize time, and prepare for possible difficulties.


The most important thing is not to take the criticism of others too personally, but to focus on the constructive aspects of the comments. It is important to show that one learns from criticism and does not suffer because of it.


What to do with errors?

The main source of stress for new employees is mistakes. Mistakes are impossible to avoid, but many new employees struggle to deal with them. Many are bothered by small mistakes like sending the wrong attachment, the wrong room reservation, or a typo in the presentation.


It’s natural to feel embarrassed or upset about a mistake, but it’s a problem when such a reaction goes on too long. New hires should practice embracing the constructive aspects of learning from mistakes and not bothering with embarrassment. It would be ideal to limit the unpleasant feelings due to the mistake to just a few minutes.


What is recommended to employees in such a case? The most important thing is that they do not generalize one mistake to their self-image (for example: “I always make mistakes”). Most mistakes will not have any significant effect on the work and are easily corrected. Also, it is good to apologize for the mistake and mention that it will be corrected as soon as possible.


It is also important to take care of yourself. Employees usually make mistakes when they are distracted or tired, so it is important to get enough sleep, eat breakfast, drink enough fluids, and exercise. Lessons should be drawn from the mistake made and the reason for it should be analyzed and a plan made to avoid it in the future.


The problem for employers is not employees who make mistakes, but those who repeatedly make the same mistakes.



New employees are exposed to a wide range of jobs, so when they arrive at a new workplace, they try to make the new job “their” job as soon as possible. However, it is almost inevitable that they will encounter unpleasant experiences in their new workplace. Because of this, they begin to think that “my job” is not “a job for me,” they withdraw from others and even start looking for work elsewhere.


It is best to approach a new workplace with moderate expectations. It is important to behave politely, to communicate with others, to constructively face one’s own mistakes and criticisms of others, and not to complain about stress to others.


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Author: Goran Mihelčić

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